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The Eddy County Extension Service and New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) have scheduled a series of inspection events this week and next in Artesia for residents who would like their pecans examined for pecan weevil.

Residential pecans in Artesia were placed under a 60-day quarantine Jan. 27 after residential trees in the community were discovered to be infected by pecan weevil, a white, grub-like pest.

The quarantine was put in effect in order to prevent the insect from spreading to commercial orchards in the area. Under the restrictions, residents are not allowed to transport in-shell pecans to accumulators outside city limits or out of town to sell without a phytosanitary certificate.

Those certificates will be available for issue at the inspection events, along with information and answers to any questions residents may have. Residents not intending to transport their pecans but simply wishing to know whether their trees are infected may bring pecans to the events for examination.

The extension service and the NMDA wish to identify all trees in the community that may be infected as they work to eradicate the weevil, so residents with pecan trees are urged to participate. Pecans infected with weevil will have either no nut meat, due to the weevil having consumed it, or will have visible holes the size of a BB.

An NMDA inspector will be on hand from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 14 and 15, and again Feb. 21-22 at Jamaica Park, corner of Bullock Avenue and Sixth Street, to inspect pecans and issue phytosanitary certificates to those wishing to transport them.

The Pecos Valley Pecan Growers, the NMDA, and the Eddy County Extension Service appreciate the public’s cooperation and effort to help protect this important crop. The pecan industry contributed $280 million to the state’s economy in 2016 alone.